Mashpee’s Town Meeting Set To Start

The warrants include a request for a Proposition 2 1⁄2 debt exclusion to pay for $10.5 million in renovations at Quashnet Elementary School; creation of a capital stabilization account initially to be funded with $500,000; and a $1.5 million bond for future infrastructure costs, including a new gym floor at Mashpee High School and parking lot improvements at the Mashpee police station.
The warrants also include requests for spending to enhance the visitor experience at Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, adding phosphorous to an existing water-pollution control bylaw, and progressing two affordable housing projects in Mashpee.
Participants at Annual Meeting also will be asked to approve Town Manager Rodney C. Collins’s proposed $54.1 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a $840,695 decrease from the current year’s budget and an approximately $1.3 million decrease from what departments had requested.
Mashpee Chief of Police Scott Carline said he was disappointed in the proposed budget considering the current opioid epidemic; Mr. Collins’s proposal would not fill two empty positions in the police department.
In the budget, the Mashpee School District would receive a slight increase from last year’s $20.84 million budget; Mr. Collins has proposed a $20.87 million school budget.
The budget does not include the recent finalization of contract negotiations with unions across town, including department of public works, police and town hall employees.
Quashnet Renovations Article 15 on the Annual Town Meeting warrant requests that the town be able to raise more money through taxes than the state law known as Proposition 2 1⁄2 normally would allow.
Financing would come from available funds.
The article is the only one on the warrant to receive a nay vote from a member of either the board of selectmen or the finance committee: Christopher J. Avis, chairman of the finance committee, voted against the article.
The article would consolidate the functions of the offices of the town accountant, town treasurer and tax collector, along with the assessing department, under the supervision and control of the director of municipal finance/town accountant, a position currently filled by Dawn Thayer.

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